The purpose of this volume is twofold: to present and evaluate the machinery and the procedures employed by the Army Chief of Transportation in moving troops and military matériel within the United States and from the United States to the oversea theaters of operations, and to outline the methods used and the problems encountered by the Chief of Transportation in training the troops and providing the equipment and supplies needed to maintain effective transportation services in the oversea commands.
The movement of troops and matériel was the basic and distinctive function of the Chief of Transportation, and for that reason the greater part of the book has been devoted to that aspect of his work. Training and supply functions were performed by other technical services as well as by the Transportation Corps, and since all technical services worked under the general direction of Army Services Forces headquarters, there was considerable similarity in the methods employed and the standards enforced. The discussion of training and supply is therefore confined to those aspects in which the Chief of Transportation had unique responsibilities or encountered exceptional problems.
Much of this account is presented by simply stating what the functions of the Chief of Transportation were and how he performed them, although his operating difficulties and his disagreements with other agencies are treated as fully as seems warranted. During the prewar emergency period, as the United States steadily drifted toward open belligerency, one of the handicaps suffered by those concerned with military transportation was the lack of an adequate record of how the Transportation Service had functioned in World War I. The documented account given here should in large measure obviate a similar lack if the nation should again become involved in a major conflict.
In the interest of completeness some matters that were discussed in The Transportation Corps: Responsibilities, Organization, and Operations are dealt with again, but the second treatment has been kept as brief as practicable and cross referenced to that volume. Since the discussion of movements, training, and supply activities can be better understood if the reader has some knowledge of the background of the Transportation Corps, its relations with other agencies, and the broad policies of the Chief of Transportation, these aspects of the Transportation Corps story are reviewed briefly in the introduction.
Valuable information and opinions have been obtained from officers and civilian experts who were on the staff of the Chief of Transportation during the . . .